Where We Are At With Shipping
Status report, ho!
Late last month (September), we launched the BackerKit and started collecting your data.
A few weeks back, we took the first bundle of data from that — several hundred orders — and exported them for shipping by Alliance, our shipping partner. Alliance took some time to parse through the data, make sure they had sufficient supplies on hand to do the shipping, and got to work.
The data in that Big Spreadsheet was a little unruly. No problem per se, but rather unruly in the sense that there were no large groups of easily identified patterns of product. Alliance is at its most efficient when shipping, say, 250 identical-contents packages. But with this Kickstarter, with folks composing their own orders, a lot of variety in the add-ons, it meant that such efficient bulk efforts weren't possible. That means that each individual shipment has needed to be handled individually, in essence, rather than "go prep 250 boxes like so, then we'll print out all these shipping labels and slap them on each one".
That's made the effort on the Big Spreadsheet slow — understandably!
Alliance should be getting to the end of the BS... okay rethinking my name for that, uhhhh, the Huge Spreadsheet, at the end of this week or early into the next. At that point they'll be able to funnel the spreadsheet back to us after they've gone through the likely-tedious task of updating it with tracking numbers for each of those shipments. Once we have the HS (much better) back in our hands, we'll be able to feed those into BackerKit and send tracking emails out to people. Prior to that point, we (Evil Hat) simply don't have that data to send.
This means that a bunch of you are gonna receive your stuff before we're able to tell you it shipped. Our apologies! Our usual strategy in these cases has been that we prioritize getting the shipments happening as fast as possible over a slower more incremental process where we get tracking data (manually) tabulated and passed back to us for sending out messaging about the shipping. So, a number of you are in for the comedic experience of receiving your package and then being told it's on its way.
Each Friday after the HS was exported, I've been exporting new shipping spreadsheets — considerably smaller than the HS — and sending them over to Alliance to get into line behind the HS folks, since those were the folks who responded soonest. Trying to stick to a first come first serve here, in a very rough-hewn way. Turnaround on those smaller exports should be faster once the HS is in our rear-view mirror, but there will still be some lag between when the shipments go out and when we get the data that enables us to tell you that the shipments went out.
We're just now starting to get in mentions from folks on social media about their dice & points showing up, so it looks like the leading edge of shipments are starting to turn into deliveries right around now. Based on that, if you were one of the folks to respond in the first week or two of BackerKit being live, you can expect your package will show up over the course of the next two weeks or so.
This should mean that most of our first and largest group of backer shipments will arrive ahead of the mid-November release of the new items to general gamestore distribution. Folks who were slower to respond may hear of them showing up in shops before they get their stuff, but that's what slower-to-respond does. ;)
Seeing as when we launched this project, we estimated delivery as December, we hope everyone will continue to recognize that we'll be delivering one to two months ahead of schedule. Assuming you've already put in your order, then no matter what, we're going to beat the deadline for you.
Human error will creep in with a small number of the shipments. If your order doesn't show up containing exactly what you ordered, please let us know by email (not Kickstarter comment!) at email@example.com and we'll do our best to sort it out for you quickly.
In summary: your stuff, soon! In some cases, already! Enjoy!
And thank you as always for your support.